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Forum Post: [A 'Must Read' Article] "The Vanishing Appeal of Capitalism", by James Rothenberg.

Posted 1 year ago on Sept. 8, 2012, 12:41 p.m. EST by shadz66 (18071)
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"The Vanishing Appeal of Capitalism",

by James Rothenberg,

It should be clear by now that our economic system is at a critical impasse, and therefore becoming less and less useful. America is not as prosperous as it once was, although some Americans enjoy the wealth of sovereigns. Americans work harder and longer than they used to, with less pay and less benefits and less chance for advancement, while some Americans have advanced beyond their wildest dreams. Inequality reeks in the land of equals.

As we approach our quadrennial election pageant, representatives of our two-headed Hydra (that would be the Democratic and Republican Parties) will plead for our vote. To the extent that the Hydra analogy is accurate, there is no place else to go. Whether you see it as one party or two parties, it is impossible to win the vote without the material support of elites. That has been locked down by the Hydra. So why vote?

The Kremlin was not defensive about Stalin’s wins at the polls. Instead it could boast of the many millions that affirmed the leadership on that day. It didn’t matter that it was a ballot of one because, crucially, the ballot had been validated. The people’s vote signified continuance of the state. The Hydra is always promising change, but an individual’s vote for it is always about continuance. It is unrealistic to expect anything else because the elite interests that are so firmly entrenched in our society are not about to be undone by the party, or parties if you prefer it, that represent them.

‘Get out the vote’ is a plea for continuance, certainly not a plea for a radical party, meaning not a real plea for change. An individual longing for change within the current system, i.e., no revolution, faces a choice of two infinitesimals. Voting for a radical, or withholding the vote. The wisest choice may be, learning from the Soviet experience, that it is best not to validate the system by participating in it. Even better may be the active choice of registering, going to the polls, and returning a blank ballot to signify the illegitimacy of a coercive election apparatus that essentially stifles radical party growth. Even better would be if blank ballots were categorized as such and counted. Like said, it’s infinitesimal, but a universe started that way.

Imagine the panic that would set in when the number of blank ballots reached sufficiently high. Pressure from below. The only thing that has ever mattered. There is something here for game theorists. What if I return a blank ballot, but there is no cooperation and the wrong person is elected? No loss. Following described circumstances, the wrong person is always elected.

Following pageant tradition, each head of the Hydra will furiously gyrate its hips at us (an Arundhati Roy aphorism), promising better days ahead in return for the favor of a vote. And it will be up to us to believe them. Politicians don’t always lie, and, for that matter, governments don’t always lie. But they lie whenever they want!

If you changed every politician in Washington, not a single thing would change because Washington is but a figurehead. It takes its directions from Wall Street. Permanent control of the country rests in the hands of the private sector. Corporations would still run the show, fitting because they own it. All perfectly legal and operating amidst the most privacy. That’s what private means. It’s none of your business.

Get off this estate. What for? Because it’s mine. Where did you get it? From my father. Where did he get it? From his father. And where did he get it? He fought for it. Well, I’ll fight you for it. – Carl Sandburg

And things have never been better thanks to the decimation of organized labor. The labor union has been a big problem, according to the capitalist. Labor asks for too much. But management doesn’t ask at all. Allowing for the worst excesses of the producer and the laborer, that is, assuming wrongs on the part of each, there is an ethical choice. Whose side would you rather be wrong on?

Healthcare costs would still rise in the drive to market new products. Maybe you’ve noticed the ads. It’s your health (“promote the general welfare”), but it’s a for-profit business. And it’s getting bigger as the population ages so it has to show even greater profit because, you know, it’s not nationalized. That can’t be talked about. That’s socialist, not capitalist.

The military would continue to be glorified in fighting its economic wars. It’s a point in our late-stage imperialistic, capitalistic continuum. (For informative and insightful reading, consult Otto’s Notebook, http://www.otto5.com/). No challenge to the Anglo-American capitalist model will be tolerated. That’s what all the fighting is about. Our domination and protection of resources, markets, supply routes, and with that, the world economy. It has nothing to do with democracy, or freedom, or self-defense and plenty to do with double standards and hypocrisy.

About hypocrisy: A pre-scientific fable supposes a flat earth supported on the back of a turtle. That poses the question, what is supporting the turtle? It’s turtles all the way down. How deep does US hypocrisy run? All the way down! Hypocrisy wear bars have yet to be developed.

Using the symbolism of the Occupy movement, our economic system is working against 99% of us, and for 1% of us. The 1% don’t, and won’t, need Medicare and Social Security. The 99% need both more than ever. We know which way the debate is going on this, just like we know where the control lies when Wall Street is bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars, in a week’s time at that, while the rest of the country, the 99%, goes wanting.

This or that president will make his face sincere in the camera and talk about the country we all love and share, the many blessings of freedom that we have because we have defended them in foreign wars, that we must keep defending with our lives in foreign wars.

This or that president will make his face sincere in the camera and invoke the deity to augment his flattering of the hardest working people on this Earth, the American people.

Meanwhile, some people get it, especially as they are feeling it. That the actions of the ruling elite reveal a certain contempt for these working people. Now a cynical person might say the citizen has value for the state in three ways. As soldier to further it, as voter to validate it, and as taxpayer to finance it. Well, you might say that.

~

respice ; adspice ; prospice ...

~

by James Rothenberg : jrothenberg@taconic.net

[Article copied verbatim under "Fair Use" from : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32386.htm ]

15 Comments

15 Comments


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[-] 2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 1 year ago

Good post

[-] -3 points by shadz66 (18071) 1 year ago

Cheers 'PK' ;-) & if I may please refer you refer you to the Vidal article above also. Hp all is ok wth u.

verb. sat. sap. ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21346) 1 year ago

"Using the symbolism of the Occupy movement, our economic system is working against 99% of us, and for 1% of us." Isn't that the truth!!?

And per the last paragraph: They can't get us to fight the wars for the gov't if we refuse, they can't get us to validate the gov't if we don't vote and we can't finance the gov't if we have no money.

[-] -3 points by shadz66 (18071) 1 year ago

From the article : "Americans work harder and longer than they used to, with less pay and less benefits and less chance for advancement, while some Americans have advanced beyond their wildest dreams. Inequality reeks in the land of equals."

I think that their is a really radical nugget in this one of the most significant pieces that I've ever posted on this forum, 'imo'. I will dovetail in bold the point I have in mind with your excellent & well appreciated deductive final paragraph and thus :

  • "They can't get us to fight the wars for the gov't if we refuse, they can't get us to validate the gov't if we vote with blank ballots and we can't finance the gov't if we have no money."

My reasoning : That when the total number of the votes for Both POTUS Wannabes is far less than actual total number of votes cast, well ....

multum in parvo ?

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21346) 1 year ago

It's really not a bad idea, but these politicians wouldn't care. They wouldn't care if they got just one vote so long as they win.

[-] -3 points by shadz66 (18071) 1 year ago

Of course 'the politrickians' wouldn't care ... but the numbers would speak oh so loudly to those with ears to hear and that 'those' could be 'Most of The 99%' !!! Added to those who did/do note vote (now nearly 50% already!), the sham of US demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy could, should and would unravel under the weight of the contradictions of its own internal mathematical logic !!!!

Manually Counted Papers Ballots are a 'sine qua non' of Any Democracy !!!

Thus, consider - The Key may well be in The Clear Paper Audit Trail !!

Ergo, The Emperors Have No Clothes & We, The 99% Can Say So !

It's not really a solution let alone panacea that I suggest here - just an empirical (ahem) insight to the start of A Shift of Conciousness that we all need in this 'bw' ~{~

pax et lux ...

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21346) 1 year ago

Well put. Thanks.

[-] -3 points by shadz66 (18071) 1 year ago

The "Anti-Both-Vote" is my 'work in progress' meme.

ad iudicium ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21346) 1 year ago

I like it. :)

[-] -3 points by shadz66 (18071) 1 year ago

Expanding 'the theme of the meme', with : 'On how to vote ; ultimately have your vote counted but yet NOT have to vote for either 'Corporate Captured, Cloned & Controlled Candidate' !!!

veritas vos liberabit ?

[-] 1 points by WinFree (1) from Winnipeg, MB 1 year ago

Most people who might question the government based on low voter turnout ALREADY KNOW things are broken. No-one brags about the % of the population who voted for them, because it is ALREADY embarrassingly low.

When the winning party has 51% of 60%, that means just over 30% of the populous has actually supported their rise to office. How often have you heard the incumbent BRAGGING about 30% of the public liking them enough to actually back them?

Low voter turnout is invariably attributed to either apathy or "undecided voters", rather than voters who are VERY decided that they want none of the above. It can be argued that the ID laws are an attempt to do exactly what we are proposing.

Not voting will not fix this. Spoiling your ballot will not fix this. A write in vote can make ripples, as long as EVERYONE writes the same thing, whether it is a person or anything else, so long as whatever is written can not be legally considered spoiling the ballot (and research on this would have to be done)

[-] -3 points by shadz66 (18071) 1 year ago

What is voting ? Without an active, educated, engaged population, willing and eager to participate - very little but a sham and a scam and a license for disappointment - if not for more wholesale larcenous and parasitic Kleptocracy, Plutocracy and Imperial Oligarchy !!!

Also see JadedCitizen's post : http://occupywallst.org/forum/bottom-up-change-if-only-the-poor-voted/ .

respice ; adspice ; prospice ...

[-] 2 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 1 year ago

Great read. Thanks for posting.

[-] -3 points by shadz66 (18071) 1 year ago

Cheers 'aoa' ;-) & also 'fyi' : "Food Speculation : 'People Die from Hunger While Banks Make a Killing on Food'",by John Vidal ('The Guardian') :

"It's not just bad harvests and climate change -–- it's also speculators that are behind record prices. And it's the planet's poorest who will pay."

cRapitalism can't cut it any more ...